Australian broadcasters see the potential for significant cost savings in the current year, if major sports events are canceled and remain off air. Nine Entertainment said that it would save $80 million (A$130 million) of broadcast rights costs in the calendar year to December 2020, if the National Rugby League season is scrapped.
For years, U.S. television networks have spent increasing amounts of money on “sports packages,” paying billions of dollars for the rights to show baseball, basketball and other sports exclusively. The exorbitant fees were justified because live contests offered a unique asset — unskippable real-time drama in the age of DVR. But that major virtue of immediacy is now proving to be sports-television’s great weakness.
One of the casualties of coronavirus-related social distancing measures has been public libraries, which are shut down in many communities around the world. This week, the Internet Archive, an online library best known for running the Internet’s Wayback Machine, announced a new initiative to expand access to digital books during the pandemic.
Telefonica’s Movistar Plus was set to show off a pair of dramas at this year’s MipTV before the market was canceled. Now, Movistar has prepared online presentations on Monday where it will screen episodes of both series as well as conversations with producers and creatives from both series.
As libraries around the U.S. shutter their physical locations to battle the outbreak of Covid-19, they are rapidly transferring budget dollars to e-books, digital audio, and other digital media to serve their communities. And the shift could prove to be a watershed moment for a digital library market where the major publishers have so far proceeded cautiously—and sometimes contentiously.
Reed MIDEM announces that Midem 2020, which was due to take place June 2-5 in Cannes, is cancelled due to concerns about the coronavirus. Midem is re-loading with a new format, the Midem Digital Edition. This online service, accessible to all, aims to bring the global music community together to discuss, collaborate and share solutions with a focus on the most impacted music stakeholders.
The Authors Guild is appalled by the Internet Archive’s (IA) announcement that it is now making millions of in-copyright books freely available online without restriction on its Open Library site under the guise of a National Emergency Library. IA has no rights whatsoever to these books, much less to give them away indiscriminately without consent of the publisher or author.
China’s film regulators has slammed the brakes on plans to gradually reopen the country’s cinemas. Over 600 movie theaters across China were given the green light to reopen their doors over the past week, but Beijing’s Film Bureau put out a notice late Friday ordering all theaters to go back into shutdown. No official explanation for the sudden reversal was provided.
Creative professionals whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak are flocking to membership platform Patreon in record numbers, the company claims. During the first three weeks of March, more than 30,000 new creators launched on the site — a much larger number than usual.
Songwriters, along with other “gig economy” workers in the music industry ranging from producers to roadies, will be eligible for grants and loans under the $2 trillion stimulus bill passed by the Senate in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the advocacy organizations Songwriters of North America and Nashville Songwriters Association International announced today.